Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

Laser Master Worlds - Long Slow Day In Hyeres
Day 1 of the Laser Master Worlds in Hyères, France but the racing struggled to get going due to the very light breeze, with the Radial events failing to manage any successful starts. The Laser standard fleets were more successful, although only one race was completed for each.

Maciej Grabowski of Poland leads the youngsters in the Standard Apprentice event, from Adonis Bougiouris of Greece and Federico Bressan of Italy, Dave Freeman of Britain is in 25th.

The Standard Master fleet of 116 was split into two flights with Brett Beyer of Australia and Scott Ferguson of the USA wining their flights. They lead overall from Allen Clark of Canada and Arnoud Hummel of the Netherlands. Best placed Brits are Alan Davis who took a third in his flight and Simon Bennett who had a fifth.

The Standard Grand Masters were also split into two flights. The results only show one winner! Phil Paxton of Canada is followed by Tracy Usher of the USA and Micael Lundgren of Sweden. Britain's Nick Harrison took a third in his flight and Pete Sherwin a sixth. -- Gerald New,,

Top three places by group:

Standard Apprentice (Age 35 - 44)
1. Maciej Grabowski, POL, 2 points
2. Adonis Bougiouris, GRE, 4
3. Matt Blakey, NZL, 8

Standard Master (Age 45 - 54)
1. Allan Clark, CAN, 5
2. Andreas John, GER, 6
3. Niklas Pernvik, SWE, 7

Standard Grand Master (Age 55 and over)
1. Robert Britten, CAN, 3
2. Roberto Bini, ITA, 6
3. Michael Nissen, GER, 7

Radial Grand Master (Age 55 and over)
1. Ian Escritt, GBR, 1
2. Michael Keeton, NZL, 2
3. Brett Wright, BER, 3

4.7 Great Grand Master (Age 65 and over)
1. Stephen Walsh, AUS, 1
2. Nagaoka Akemi, JPN, 2
3. Waltraud Schmitt, FRA, 3

Full results:

Have Your Say
Technology marches on: This is not just an axiom to modern life, but a fundamental principle embraced by most of us who race sailboats. Modern design trends have produced boats that are faster, more exciting and safer than ever before, where 40-footers are now exceeding the speeds of 50-footers built only a decade ago. Accordingly there is a growing interest in building and racing this new generation of high-performance offshore-capable designs.

But as in most arenas of technology, the cutting edge is not always widely accessible: not only are the costs higher for the boats themselves, but also for campaigning them at a competitive level where all of their potential can be realised on the racecourse. Fair racing with these boats can also be difficult because the existing handicap systems cannot always rate them fairly against other more typical mainstream designs that populate most regattas.

As part of SYRF's mission to support the science of sailing, we would like to know more about us with some valuable feedback on how to characterise competitive big boat racing. Your answers will help shape the future of the sport for all concerned.

Full article in Seahorse:

SYRF Page with links to Surveys:

Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
Dubarry Ultima It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor marine diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX®. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.

Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX® liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Argo Group Gold Cup Fleet Is Ready
Hamilton Bermuda: The fleet is set for the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Racing starts Tuesday, October 21 at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Qualifying knockout Round-Robin matches consist of 20 teams divided into two groups. That's followed by knockout Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals. Leading from the top will be current Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) number 1 skipper and 2006 Gold Cup winner Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar, the 2013 Gold Cup defending champion Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa, and 2012 Gold Cup winner and defending Alpari World Match Racing Tour Champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One.

These three are part of the elite group of eight skippers who hold AWMRT Tour Cards giving them automatic entry into each of the seven events on the Tour. Rounding out the card holders group are Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team, David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour, Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, and Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX.

18ft Skiffs: 2014-2015 Season Begins Sunday
The 2014-2015 Season of 18ft Skiff Racing will begin Sunday 12 October when the Australian 18 Footers League stages a 3-Buoys club trophy race on Sydney Harbour.

Seventeen teams have entered for the new season with the reigning champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage (Gotta Love It 7) the early favourites to retain their titles in the major events later in the season.

Despite the favouritism, Team Seven will be under a lot of pressure from several top teams in new boats and with new equipment.

Thurlow Compensation Lawyers, skippered by former JJ Giltinan and Australian champion Michael Coxon, and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) have been the biggest threats to '7' in recent seasons and will again be the main challengers in 2014-2015.

Smeg, with a new, but experienced 18 Footer crew to the 'Smeg' skiff, Appliancesonline (a new skiff with former Australian champion Micah Lane at the helm), another new skiff Asko Gorenje (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) will also be strong contenders.

The current Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton joins the Mojo Wine team, replacing Chris Nicholson, and ensures the team will remain at the pointy end of the fleet.

The experienced Grant Rollerson, who has been skippering 18ft Skiffs for the past decade, joins Simon Nearn's De'Longhi-Rabbitohs crew and is expected to give this team a great boost. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

2014-2015 Season Fleet:

Thurlows Compensation Lawyers - Michael Coxon
Yandoo - John Winning
Asko Gorenje - Marcus Ashley-Jones
De'Longhi-Rabbitohs - Simon Nearn - Micah Lane
Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel - Jack Macartney
Gotta Love It 7 - Seve Jarvin
Smeg - David Witt
Pure Blonde - Nick Daly
Mojo Wine - Lee Knapton
Lumix - Jonathan Whitty - Keagan York
The Kitchen Maker - John Sweeny
Noakes - Sean Langman
Haier Appliances - Pedro Vozone
Ilve - Ollie Hartas
Fisher & Paykel - Rob Flanagan

Dates for the major championships are:
JJ Giltina Championship - 13-22 February
NSW Championship - 11 January-1 February (five races)
Australian Championship (Brisbane) - 20-23 March

Atlantic Cup / Ocean Race North
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: Manuka Sports Event Management announced today their plans to move the premier offshore race in the United States, The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, to a biennial event. The 5th edition of the race will start May 21, 2016. As in the previous editions of the race, The Atlantic Cup will visit three iconic ports along the east coast of the United States. Host cities will be announced in the coming months.

The Atlantic Cup is the U.S.' only short-handed offshore race dedicated to the Class 40. The race was created and designed to grow the audience for short-handed, offshore racing with hard fought competition and exciting shore based events while also being the most environmentally sustainable sailing race.

11th Hour Racing, presenting sponsor of the Atlantic Cup, has been a supporter since the race's inception and fully supports the decision to move to a two-year cycle. With 11th Hour's help, the Atlantic Cup has become the leading example of an environmentally responsible sailing race. In 2016, The Atlantic Cup will continue to set the standard, implementing new and innovative solutions to enhance sailing performance, the race experience and protect the health of our waters.

Given the growth and strength of the Class 40 fleet on the east coast and the need for an event to bring boats north after the winter, today we are also announcing, the Ocean Race North (ORN) from Charleston to Newport. ORN will run in the odd years and the race will include the Class 40s and an ORR division. ORN is slated to start May 2, 2015.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
'Good things come to those who wait' commented race officer Kathy Smalley at the prizegiving of day one of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. That was certainly the case out on the water. Despite a two hour postponement to await the breeze, the race team remained confident that enough wind would fill in, despite the evidence from a nearby scrap metal yard fire, from which the smoke rose in a perfectly straight column. But sure enough, at 1230 a gentle 6-8 knots from the SE ghosted in, allowing all classes to fit in a race in blazing sunshine. Combined starts got the fleet away in double-time to make the most of the fickle breeze.

First to start, with an individual recall, was IRC 0. Niklaas Zennstrom's Farr 45 Kolga finished 1st on corrected time, only one second ahead of Chris Body's J/111, Icarus. Fellow J/111, JElvis, finished third.

In IRC 1, Tim Octon's Corby 35 Doyle Sails finished three minutes ahead of second placed Xinska to take the top spot, while in IRC 2, HOD35 Malice topped the podium, ahead of the J/88 Eat Sleep J Repeat and First 35 Hot Rats.

IRC 3's start was combined with the Sigma 38s. J/97s dominated the podium, with Andy Howe's Blackjack II ahead of Charles Ivill's 'ETB Tyres Just Like That in second. John Noe's X-332 La Nef IV was third.

The Sigma 38s were topped by Nigel Goodhew's Persephone, with Chris and Vanessa Choules' With Alacrity in second and Rob Lee's Kindred Spirit in third.

IRC 4 might have the smallest boats in the fleet but it also boasted the largest entry with 14 boats, 7 of which were Impala 28s. Quarter tonner Flashheart finished first on the water and overall, 30 seconds ahead of Impala Polly on corrected time. Mustang 30 Erik the Red was 3rd.

Next weekend sees the first of two MDL Hamble Big Boat Series weekends, as well as the second Garmin Hamble Winter Series race day

Full results:

Oyster Palma Regatta
Saturday, the final race and party day of the Oyster Regatta Palma 2014, and with the five-race series already in the bag hopes for a bonus pursuit race hung on a... zephyr. Those lucky, early gradient winds of the week looked to have blown out. But a wilful lot, the Oyster race team urged the fleet to come out and wait in the bay, ready to race if the sea breeze came in. And slowly it did. The cumulus built above the Tramuntana hills. The planes changed take-off from inshore to offshore, and with six knots the call went out, "race on".

The course was a simple triangle with a reaching start and on the beat generally more pressure offshore than in.

In the Concours d'elegance the Class 3 award went to Sara Blue V (Oyster 54 - Charles Billson), Class 2 to Great Bear V (625 - Graham and Victoria Hetherington), Class 1 Penelope (Oyster 100).

Top three by class:

Class 1
1. Karibu, Karibu Ltd, 5.50 points
2. Reina, Jeroen Hemels, 7.50
3. Starry Night of the Caribbean, Starry Yachts, Ltd, 10

Class 2
1. Lady Mariposa, Dan Hardy, 4.25
2. Guardian Angel, Maxim Kudryashov, 5.50
3. Vamos of Portsmouth, David & Joanne Furby, 13

Class 3
1. Silver Lining, Judy & Max Morrison, 9.00
2. SUNsuSEA, Paulina & Mariusz Kierebinski, 9.75
3. Yo Ho Ho of Sark, Neil & Sue Speed, 10.75

Full Results

Mast Top Selfie
Click on image to enlarge.

Selfie Alicante, Spain: Sweden's third in the line to the throne Prince Carl Philip needed no time to consider when he was challenged to climb to the top of a Volvo Ocean Race boat's 30-metre mast on Sunday - 'I'll do it,' he said.

While his entourage looked on with bated breath, the intrepid 35-year-old clambered up the Dongfeng Race Team rig with barely a downward glance.

Once at the top, he scribbled a message at the top of the mast, took a 'selfie' picture and then leisurely joined the Chinese challengers' crew for a pro-am race in which they finished fifth out of seven.

"That was a privilege and a unique experience to do this," he said afterwards.

"I felt very safe up there, it was good, really nice."

The Prince is the Patron of the Volvo Ocean Race and had spent the weekend in Alicante for its opening, including the first in-port race which he watched onboard the all-women challengers' boat, Team SCA.

The first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 begins on Saturday, October 11 when the seven-strong fleet leaves for Cape Town. The 38,739 nautical mile race will take nine months to complete and is due to conclude on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Classic Yacht Celebrates 100th Birthday At Opening Day On The Derwent
Derwent Hobart, Tasmania, Australia: The classic yacht Gypsy celebrated her 100th birthday in style on Hobart's River Derwent this afternoon - leading a fleet of more than 220 yachts and motor cruisers in the traditional Sail Past to mark the Opening Day of the Yachting Season and also receiving the Beauty Prize.

Built at Eaglehawk Neck in 1914, Gypsy has been owned by the Knight family of Hobart since 1918, and current owner/skipper Steve Knight believes she has taken part in every Opening Day Sail Past from and including 1919.

Craft taking part in the Sail Past ranged from Laser dinghies through to ocean racing yachts and large cruisers with the conditions ideal on the Derwent, a light northerly breeze and a temperature of 24 degrees, albeit slightly cooler afloat.

Following the Sail Past, the majority of boats headed across the Derwent for a raft-up in the lee of Kangaroo Bluff where Opening Day festivities continued well into the afternoon. -- Peter Campbell

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Roger Johnstone: The torrent of social media criticism levelled at the commentary on the VOR in-port race coverage in Alicante came as no surprise. Truly awful. Part-way through the race I switched the sound off altogether. Someone in VOR made a serious error of judgement and fixing it has hopefully been near the top of Knut Frostad's "to do" list this week. Hopefully, there's still time to get Peter Lester and Martin Tasker on a plane from New Zealand. They are much missed and badly needed.

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Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

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The Last Word
When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him. -- Bayard Rustin

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